OREANDA-NEWS. Sanya city has unveiled strong growth in international arrivals in the first half of 2016, fueled by new air routes, and growing awareness of Sanya's tourism attractions.

Mr. Fan Mu, Director of Sanya Tourism Development Commission said: "I am delighted with the steady growth of visitor arrivals, and the investment we have put into positioning Sanya as a major international tourist destination is beginning to show returns."

The city received 7.8173 million overnight tourists in the first half of the year, a year-on-year growth rate of 8.92 percent. Overnight tourists included 192,000 overseas tourists, up 13.63 percent year-on-year. Hong Kong continues to be a key source market followed by Taiwan, Russia, South Korea and the USA.

New Air Routes
Fuelling this growth is an aggressive strategy to open new international air routes. Sanya opened three international and regional air routes in the first half of 2016, including Sanya to Frankfurt, Sanya to Ho Chi Minh, and Sanya to Kaohsiung. Since the beginning of last year, the city has opened 14 overseas air routes to countries and regions including Japan, South Korea, Russia, Germany, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan.

In the first half of 2016, the passenger throughput at the Sanya Phoenix International Airport hit 8.7935 million, a year-on-year increase of 3.9 percent.

Tourist Arrivals
Seven major scenic spots, including Tianya Haijiao, Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone, Dongtian Park, Wuzhizhou Island, West Island, and Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park attracted 9.9756 million visitors in the first half of the year, up 5.31 percent year-on-year. Survey shows the satisfaction rate of tourists to Sanya reached 82.59% in the first half of 2016.

Tourism Revenue
Total tourism revenue reached 14.539 billion yuan in the first half of 2016, up 15.25 percent year-on-year. Foreign exchange earnings (FEEs) from tourism reached 96.8617 million US dollars, up 16.21 percent year-on-year.

Hotel Room Occupancy
The hotel occupancy rate reached 64.38 percent, up 0.67 percent compared with the same period last year.

Tourism Promotions
Meanwhile, the Sanya Tourism Development Commission has conducted 32 missions across the globe in key markets and travel trade events to boost awareness and interest. It has also expanded its digital footprint with new websites in Japanese, Korean, Russian and social media accounts on six major overseas social networking and travel review platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and TripAdvisor to further promote the city in the international tourism market.

In June, a "Sanya Hearts to Hearts" global campaign was also launched. It is a five-month online promotion aimed to target influential KOL's (Key Opinion Leaders) and garner more user generated content.

Sanya GDP
Sanya's GDP reached 24.785 billion yuan in the first half of 2016. The added value of the service sector reached 15.462 billion yuan, accounting for 62.4 percent of the total GDP.